The magnificent RB7: Bulls out to retain F1 crown

during day one of winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 1, 2011 in Valencia, Spain.
during day one of winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 1, 2011 in Valencia, Spain.

RED BULL Racing stated their intent to keep hold of both F1 titles when they launched their 2011 car in Valencia on Tuesday.

The RB7 was unveiled to the public at the first F1 test of the season in Spain, and the Tilbrook team carried on where they left off in Abu Dhabi last November by setting the fastest time on the opening day.

F1 World champion Sebastian Vettel - donning the number one plate on his car - was the first of Red Bull’s drivers to turn a wheel in the RB7, and despite topping the timing sheets, he’s determined not to get carried away.

“It’s a difficult situation for us because last year we just said ‘let’s go for the title’ - now we want to defend it,” he said.

“It will be a tough battle ahead - a long, hard fight. Motivation is not a problem for us, but we need to focus again.

“We’ve a lot of testing ahead of us and a very long season, but we are all pumped and happy to go racing again.”

Team-mate Mark Webber then took over with testing duties on Wednesday, as he looks to put a disappointing end to 2010 behind him.

He said: “As a group we went through a huge amount last year, and we certainly all learned from that. I know I certainly did.

“So the way I’m approaching this season is just head on again. I have a great opportunity, and a great team around me, to try to improve on what I did last year.

“There are a lot of things I did right last year, some very proud moments, with 80 per cent of my season in the middle being good.

“It’s really a case of trying to improve on those things, and go for it.”

Team boss Christian Horner added: “It’s a great feeling to arrive here and roll out the car with the number one on it as the reigning World champions, but now the challenge is to keep it.

“We’re motivated and will be working hard to hold on to the two world titles. I’m sure it’s going to be a fascinating battle.”

Vettel sealed the Drivers’ title as Bulls won the Constructors’ crown last season, winning nine of their 19 races with both Vettel and Webber still in the hunt for the driver’s title until the last race.

There will now be a further two four-day test sessions for the team to shake down their cars before the green light goes up for the 2011 season in Bahrain in March.